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Centralized Asset Management streamlines sustainment funding requirements

  • Published
  • By JoAnne Rumple
  • Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs
It costs the Air Force more than $12 billion a year to sustain and maintain its fleets. Air Force Materiel Command is making sure that money is spent where it does the most good.

AFMC now operates a new, Centralized Asset Management system that has consolidated and streamlined cumbersome budgeting and spending processes formerly accomplished separately by each operational command.

Known as CAM by its users, the system streamlines programming, budgeting and execution of sustainment and management of the service's aircraft, helicopters, missiles and munitions. In doing so, it provides a fleet-wide perspective and an enterprise-perspective for Air Force officials.

"In other words," said Kim Keck, chief of the centralized programs budget division in AFMC's Financial Management Directorate, "the CAM system will allow us to holistically budget for parts, depot level maintenance, sustaining engineering, technical data and manuals, and even fuel, for Air Force weapon systems."

Deborah Naguy, chief of the Centralized Asset Management division in AFMC's Logistics Directorate, added, "This will give us more insight into problems and more flexibility to fix them. For example, we'd be able to see when F-15s -- not just those at one base but F-15s all across the Air Force -- are experiencing systemic problems that must be addressed to maintain the Air Force's war-fighting capabilities. That's the fleet-wide perspective we may have missed when individual commands were supporting only their portions of a fleet."

"We'll also be looking across our fleets, so when F-16s and F-15s, for example, have competing requirements which exceed available funding, we'll be able to articulate the capability impacts of financing one requirement over the other," Ms. Naguy said. "We'll then provide that information to help senior leaders determine how to prioritize our resources and make the best overall decision for the Air Force. That's the enterprise-wide perspective.

"The neat thing about all of this is that this whole process will be completely transparent to Airmen in the base repair shop," Ms. Naguy said. "They'll still go to the same window to order parts. They'll still use the same 'credit card' when they refuel the airplane. Only now, AFMC will be managing the money transfer instead of each separate command. That will save process time and man-hours for the Air Force."

Centralizing processes for determining requirements and obtaining resources under CAM will pay dividends, Ms. Naguy said. Additionally, under CAM AFMC program managers will be responsible for evaluating various sustainment elements, to determine the best, most cost effective mix needed to meet Air Force availability goals for its weapon systems. This means devising the best mix of heavy maintenance, parts support, and engineering analysis to ensure a given system is available to meet its operational and training missions.

"The entire spectrum of changes under CAM are designed to give the program manager better insight of, and control over, how resources are applied at the weapon system level," Ms. Keck said. "Every dollar we spend has to tie directly to our ability to meet, not exceed, our targets."

Actual centralization of budgeting for asset management has just begun this year and is expected to be completed in fiscal 2008. This year the centralization includes contractor logistics support, sustaining engineering, technical data and fuels funding. Plans for next year call for moving depot maintenance, spare parts, and support equipment funding to the central account. The Air Force has also requested permission to begin financing Guard and Reserve contract logistics support, sustaining engineering and support equipment requirements with the centralized account.

Both women emphasized that "It's important to remember that while centralized asset management will do a lot for the Air Force; it's only one leg of the eLog21 (Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century) campaign now under way. That campaign is evaluating all of the Air Force's logistics processes in an effort to improve end-to-end sustainment across the enterprise."